|Report Courtesy of Giana Roberge, Saturn Cycling Team
Held in picturesque Tennessee on the Natchez Trace, the US National Time Trial Championships offered a beautiful setting for the race often described as "the test of truth." The 38 kilometer rolling course featured wind, heat and perfect pavement for the citizens of the United States to test their will and legs against the clock in this individual effort to earn the honor of wearing the Stars and Stripes designating the National Champion for the next year.
The women went off just as a storm whipped up through the valley. As the rain poured down, the wind switched directions, and the women were faced with unkind conditions at best. The fastest time was set later in the race when T-Mobile's Amber Neben came across in a time of 53:17. Everyone held their collective breath waiting for the defending National Champion, Kimberly Bruckner, to come in sight. As the yellow and black Saturn colors came around the corner, it was clear that Bruckner would win, but the question was by how much. In the end she finished with a time of 52:15:25, 1:02:14 ahead of Neben's time. Diet Rite's Tina Mayolo - Pic had a strong ride, finishing in third, 1:20:08 behind Bruckner. Diet Rite's Dede Demet-Barry finished in fourth with a time of 54:20, and rounding out the top five with a promising ride in her young career was Saturn's Jessica Phillips, with a 54:23, 2:07 behind.
By the time the men began their time trial, the sun was out and the temperatures shot up into the 90s. The heavy favorites did not start until late in the race, and it was with great anticipation that people waited for riders like Prime Alliance's Danny Pate and Chris Horner to come across, Saturn's Chris Fisher, Mercury's Phil Zajicek, US Postal's David Zabriskie and Dylan Casey, and 7-Ups John Lieswyn. In the end it was Casey with the outstanding time of 47:07. Prime Alliance's Chris Horner continued with his consistently stellar season finishing second with a time of 47:13, 6 seconds behind Casey. Navigator's Chris Baldwin was third with a time of 47:32. Adham Sbeih was fourth with a time of 47:56 and John Lieswyn finished in fifth but was disqualified for a line violation, moving US Postal's Dave Zabriskie into fifth. Casey's ride earned him the right to wear the stars and stripes jersey for the next 12 months, an honor well deserved after his excellent ride.
1. Kimberly Bruckner - Saturn Cycling Team - 52:15
2. Amber Neben - T-Mobile - 53:17
3. Tina Mayolo - Pic - Diet Rite - 53:35
4. Dede Demet Barry - T-Mobile - 54:20
5. Jessica Phillips - Saturn Cycling Team - 54:23
1. Dylan Casey - USPS - 47:07
2. Chris Horner - Prime Alliance - 47:13
3. Chris Baldwin - Navigators - 47:32
4. Adham Sbeih - Mercury - 47:56
5. Dave Zabriskie - USPS - 48:04